What’s the emphasis in your jazz piano playing?
That’s a big question, and it has a companion question:
What does your favorite jazz pianist emphasize?
I say this because when we closely listen to the great jazz pianists, we hear that they don’t all emphasize the same things.
Count Basie emphasized conciseness and a style that contrasted to the brassiness of his big band.
Wynton Kelly emphasized swing.
Keith Jarrett emphasizes an approach to expressing the inexpressible (at least that’s how I hear it in his playing).
Oscar Peterson emphasized drama and excitement.
Art Tatum emphasized technique and imagination.
The study is twofold: Listen to the jazz greats and intuit what they emphasized, and then turn back to ourselves and see what we want to emphasize in our piano playing.
Embrace the journey, and “let the music flow!”
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